PLATTSBURGH — Bids for the major expansion project at Plattsburgh International Airport came in well under estimates and were dominated by local contractors, much to the delight of legislators.
“This is great news and a great start for this project,” Clinton County Legislature Chairman Sam Dyer (D-Area 3, Beekmantown) said.
“Not one legislator did not want local people working on this project, so we are very pleased to see these bids.”
The project was broken up into four contracts — general construction for the main part, which is the expansion of the terminal; plumbing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and electrical.
Murnane Building Contractors of Plattsburgh was the low bidder for the general construction with a base figure of $26,434,000. Murnane outbid Bette & Cring Construction Group of Watertown ($26,540,000) and Northend Associates of Liverpool near Syracuse ($28,400,000).
L.H. LaPlante Company Inc. of Plattsburgh was the low bidder for the plumbing job with a base bid of $1,250,000, beating out Ductman Mechanical Inc. of Norfolk ($1,420,000), DiCesare Mechanical of Schenectady ($1,475,000) and E.W. Tompkins Co. of Albany ($1.6 million).
K&L Plumbing and Heating of Plattsburgh is the low bidder for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning contract with a base bid of $2,945,936, outbidding Ductman Mechanical ($3.3 million), L.H. LaPlante ($3,360,000), E.W. Tompkins ($3,393,000) and DiCesare ($3,397,000).
The low bid for the electrical work belonged to S&L Electric of Colton in St. Lawrence County at $4,498,000.
S&L’s bid was followed by bids from William J. Murray Inc. of Plattsburgh ($4,589,000) and Dow Electric Inc. of Malone ($4,678,000).
TERMINAL SIZE TRIPLED
The total bid package came in roughly at $35.3 million, which was well under the estimates of about $42 million.
“Three of the four bids were from companies right here in Plattsburgh, and the fourth was a North Country company, so that worked out just about perfectly,” Dyer said.
Legislators decided last year to expand the airport, which has done big business since opening in 2007 on the flight line of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
The project calls for tripling the size of the terminal to about 115,000 square feet. The larger terminal will eventually allow for a projected 308,540 or so enplanements per year by 2030.
Last year, about 150,000 passengers came through the airport, which is designed to handle only about 31,500 per year.
At times, there are as many as 600 people crammed into a terminal that was designed for 300.
FEDERAL FUNDS EXPECTED
The cost of the expansion is expected to be paid out over 30 years.
It will be funded in part by the $4.50 per passenger the county gets from the federal government and parking revenue.
About 2,000 additional parking spaces will be added as part of the expansion.
The county is also expected to get at least $9.9 million in federal funds to help pay for the expansion.
County Administrator Michael Zurlo said the low bids will benefit the county’s financing model for the project.
“We will borrow for the project based on these bids that we received, and it will be in our favor, and that will certainly help,” he said.
Legislators will review the bids at tonight’s Airport Committee meeting at 5:15 and then vote to accept them at their regular meeting set to start immediately afterwards, at 7 p.m.
The bids will then be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration for review.
PREDICTS ‘HUGE SUCCESS’
Zurlo said he hopes actual work on the expansion can start by the end of the year. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.
Airport Committee member Robert Hall (D-Area 10, City of Plattsburgh) said he believes the expansion project will pave the way for more growth at the airport.
“I think this is going to be a huge success,” he said.
“As we get bigger, I think we will get more and more flights out of there.”
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